Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Reality of Reality?

JenniCam seems to be a particularly popular thing to discuss in these blog posts. One could theorize that this is because we all have some sort of natural obsession with watching others do, well, anything, while remaining anonymous ourselves. Reality shows build off of this concept; maybe we can see through actors, or maybe we think we can, and that’s why we enjoy the real so much more than the staged. Or maybe it’s because there’s always the possibility of contact with the person you’re watching; they’re not just a fictional character, but a real person, that, with enough effort, could be contacted and communicated with.

Of course, the theory that this is why we all chose to write about JenniCam falls victim to the confounds of only having so many topics to talk about and having had Chun talk about it to a fair extent in class. Nonetheless, I like the ideas that it inspires.

I guess I’m trying something new with this blog post. Rather than planning out an argument and discussion, I’m kinda going stream of consciousness here. But isn’t that essentially what we enjoy about JenniCam? It’s real, or seems to be real – not planned, not organized, just life moment to moment.

But this isn’t exactly true, is it? By adding the element of being viewed, we change the essence of reality. Many of us can tell that reality shows are staged to some extent, and often people will “act out” on the shows for the camera. Similarly, Jenni will perform her “acts” on occasion for the camera. And even I am altering my thoughts for placement on the blog.

Even more interesting is how this augmented really does become reality. Jenni becomes a “star” in real life, and could be found on magazine covers nation-wide. Similarly, reality show participants will sometimes go on to professional acting careers, or host their own new reality shows. But does this “stardom” out of the context of the show reaffirm their reality by showing that they are real people outside of the show, or does it highlight the lack of reality in their respective shows, as they are now stars for participating in their so called reality?

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